A Guide to Universal Orlando Resort Annual Passes

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Universal Annual Pass

Credit: Universal Orlando Blog

Universal Orlando Resort is home to two theme parks, one water park, and a fantastic shopping and dining destination. For those of us who love Universal Orlando Resort, a great cost-saving option for visiting the theme parks is an Annual Pass.

However, there are many different Annual Pass types and well as additional benefits beyond theme park admission for UOAP holders. Here is a guide to Universal Annual Passes to help you decide which pass is best for you.

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If you are planning to visit the theme parks at Universal Orlando Resort multiple times throughout the year, or even over a weekend, an Annual Pass is likely the best way to save money on theme park admission. Some Annual Passes offer free parking, merchandise discounts, food and beverage discounts, and more, which adds to the value of the Annual Pass.

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Universal offers a variety of Annual Pass types, we are going to break down each Annual Pass with the cost of the Pass and what they include.

What is a Universal Orlando Annual Pass and what does it allow you to do?

Universal Orlando Sanitation
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An Annual Pass is an admission ticket to Universal Studios Florida, Universal’s Islands of Adventure, and in some cases Volcano Bay for 12 months. This allows you unlimited admission to the theme parks within a 12 month period, however, it is worth noting that some Annual Passes have dates that are “blocked” where you cannot use your pass.

Related: Ultimate Guide on When and How to Use the Universal Express Pass

How many blocked dates you have will depend on the type of Annual Pass you purchase, with less expensive passes often having more blocked dates.

How much does a Universal Orlando Annual Pass cost?

Universal Orlando
Credit: Universal Orlando

Universal has four different 2-Park Annual Passes that only offer admission into Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure. There are also four different 3-Park Annual Passes that offer admission to Universal Studios Florida, Universal’s Islands of Adventure, and Volcano Bay.

For each of these Annual Passes, there are discounted prices for Florida Residents.

2-Park Passes

  • Seasonal Pass – $349 or $299 for Florida residents – most restrictive Pass, includes blockout dates.
  • Power Pass – $399 or $349 for Florida residents – includes blockout dates.
  • Prefered Pass – $449 or $399 for Florida residents
  • Premier Pass – $624 or $559 for Florida residents
Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure
Credit: Universal Orlando

3-Park Passes

  • Seasonal Pass – $449 or $399 for Florida residents – most restrictive Pass, includes blockout dates.
  • Power Pass – $509 or $459 for Florida residents – includes blockout dates.
  • Prefered Pass – $559 or $509 for Florida residents
  • Premier Pass – $814 or $749 for Florida residents

What discounts or sales occur with Universal Orlando Annual Passes?

Some notable differences between the Pass types – both the Prefered Pass and Premier Pass do not have blockout dates. They both also offer free parking at CityWalk, and the Premier Pass offers free valet parking. Prefered and Premier Passes give you access to early park entry and discounted food and merchandise.

The Premier Pass also gives you one free ticket to Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights event. All passes give you discounts on Universal hotel stays, as well as discounts on special event tickets for events such as Halloween Horror Nights.

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Credit: Universal

Tips for getting the most out of your Universal Orlando Annual Pass

The best tip for getting the most out of your Annual Pass is to understand all of the benefits of your Pass. Ask for discounts everywhere at Universal once you have your Annual Pass, merchandise, snacks, drinks, you will be amazed how many places at Universal Orlando Resort offer discounts with your Annual Pass. Even at CityWalk, the stores that Universal does not operate often times offer discounts to Passholders.

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Also, be sure to use your Annual Pass when booking a room at a Universal Hotel as every Pass type gets a discount on them. Plus, Universal sometimes holds promotions where Annual Passholders receive a free room upgrade at Universal Hotels so be sure to book your room through to Universal website to get the most out of your Annual Pass. Always be on the lookout for an email from Universal in your email for the latest specials and discounts you receive just for being a UOAP.

Universal Orlando
Credit: Universal Orlando Blog

What bonuses does the Universal Orlando Annual Pass allow you?

Besides the discounts that are sporadically offered to Universal Orlando Annual Passholders, you can look forward to Passholder Appreciation Days totally dedicated to you, the Passholder at Universal Orlando Resort every year.

Passholder Appreciation Days are really fun and offer special merchandise, food, and more just for Annual Passholders. You can read about the 2021 UOAP days here.

Universal Orlando Passholder Appreciation Days
Credit: Universal Orlando

Additionally, there is a special Annual Passholder lounge at Universal Studios Florida that offers a place for Passholders to cool off and relax during their visit to the theme park.

What else can you use your Universal Orlando Annual Pass for?

Your Universal Orlando Annual Pass can be used for a lot of things. Truly, having one feels like you have the key to the Universal Orlando Resort. A Universal Orlando Resort Annual Pass is only supposed to be used as theme park admission but does offer plenty of added benefits and perks as we already explained. But can you use it for anything else?

Universal goes above and beyond to give Annual Passholders special treatment as opportunities to do so come up. For example, before the VelociCoaster opened to Guests, Universal offered the chance for Annual Passholders to ride the attraction before anyone else! How awesome is that?
VelociCoaster
Credit: Universal

If you purchase the highest level pass, the Premier Pass, your Pass can be used as an Express Pass after 4 pm. This is a fantastic perk of the Premier Pass as it means you get to skip the line at all of your favorite attractions in the afternoons!

When are the best times to buy a Universal Orlando Annual Pass?

You can purchase your Annual Pass at any time. Universal has fantastic Team Members that will help guide you through the process. Things are so easy at Universal Orlando Resort I would enter the park, go to a ticket window at either Island’s of Adventure or Universal Studios Florida and purchase an Annual Pass on the first day I planned on using it. Yes, it is that simple!
Sometimes Universal offers special Annual Pass promotions where you can get a few months of park entry for free when you purchase an Annual Pass during a certain time. If you have a trip 6 or more months out, I would just keep an eye on the Universal website and see if Universal runs that promotion (which they often do) before you purchase your pass.
Islands of Adventure
Credit: Universal Orlando

Where can you find coupons or further discounts to apply to your Universal Orlando Annual Pass?

If you are a Florida Resident you always get special prices on Universal Annual Passes. If you are not a Florida Resident and are looking for a way to save on your Universal Orlando Annual Pass? Check the Universal Orlando Resort website for any promotions on Annual Passes before you purchase, however, given all the perks and discounts you receive just for owning an Annual Pass they are certainly worth the price Universal is asking.

Universal has offered discounts for those who renew their Annual Pass as well, so if you purchase now you might be able to get a discount in the following years! The price for Annual Passes increases gradually every year, if you are thinking about becoming a UOAP and have an upcoming Universal trip planned now is the time to get a Pass!

Credit: Universal Orlando

When are the biggest events in Universal Orlando and what are they?

There are three large events at Universal Orlando Resort that are celebrated annually. Halloween Horror Nights, and Mardi Gras. Christmas and Mardi Gras do not require an additional ticket, however, Halloween Horror Nights does require one. With your Annual Pass, you do get a discount on tickets to Halloween Horror Nights. You can even purchase a Frequent Fear Pass and enter Halloween Horror Nights multiple times during the events run, you also get a discount on this with your Annual Pass.

Halloween Horror Nights typically runs from September through early November. Mardi Gras begins in February and Goes until April, but those dates are flexible from year to year.

Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights Orlando
Source: Universal Studios Orlando Resort

When is Universal Orlando the most empty and why?

Universal Orlando Resort is so popular that there are hardly any slow times of year for the theme parks. That being said I do have a few tips to help you visit the parks when it may be less crowded.

Universal holds two special events yearly, Halloween Horror Nights, and Mardi Gras. Both of these events are held at Universal Studios Florida and if you pay attention to when the event nights are happening you can plan a visit to Universal’s Islands of Adventure and enjoy lower lines while crowds gather at the events.

IOA entry
Credit: ITM

Times to avoid would be Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s as that is the busiest time of year inside the theme parks. The beginning of February can be a great time to visit but the Mardi Gras event will start in February which can bring crowds on weekends.

When is the cheapest time to go to Universal Orlando and why?

Having an Annual Pass makes visiting the Universal Orlando Resort very affordable. The pass will not change in price based on the month you purchase them, but rather make each visit a great value.
With the Prefered Pass being around $600 for the 3-Park option your Pass could pay for itself in only 5-6 visits to Universal. Making all other visits to the theme park “free”.
velocicoaster
Credit: Universal Orlando

So that is it! That is a quick guide to Universal Annual Passes, we hope this helps when you are deciding which Annual Pass to purchase.

Personally, I have a Universal Orlando Resort Annual Pass and find that is a good value. Being able to visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Jurassic Park, and Volcano Bay on the same weekend!

Will you be picking up an Annual Pass for Universal Orlando Resort? Let us know in the comments. 

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